When his wife accidently kills a man while fending off his unwanted advances, an inventor takes the blame and is sent to prison for 15 years. When he gets out, he finds that his daughter doesn't know who he is, and that's just the beginning. An early "talkie".
June 10, 2010
Father knows best?
The reasons why this is a bad, early sound film are mostly circumstantial. In 1929 many producers, directors and screenplay writers still were stuck in silent-era mindsets, and good dialog writers were in desperately short supply, as were actors who could convincingly recite dialog. The result was many movies like this one, with its primitive dialog and hokey plot loaded with self-sacrificing histrionics. The acting, particularly by the female leads, is nothing short of awful. Relatively speaking the male leads do okay, and both would go on to better things. Regardless of its flaws, this little melodrama has its attractions. There is an interesting skid row café scene, and the art deco sets and furnishings will have antique collectors salivating. As a film, this one rates 1 ½ stars at best, but it gets 3 because it is an interesting curiosity, and because it has real historical value as an example of the struggles associated with the transition from silent to sound films. CAST NOTES: Ricardo Cortez would emerge as one of the popular leading men of the '30s in films like "The Case of the Black Cat" (as Perry Mason), but by the early '40s he was reduced to playing supporting roles. The elderly Henry Whitehall became a respected character actor in films like "The Devil-Doll" and "China Clipper," his last.